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Thursday, April 26, 2012

SENT

As I write this I am sitting on my bed in my luxurious hotel room in Dallas.  I've come up to the Big D for the "Sent" missions conference sponsored by our state convention.  I hope to spread the good word about our HMC ministry while I'm here, and take in some workshops along the way.  There are about 2 dozen young people from our church, mostly college students, who will be attending as well.  Pray that this will be a life-changing week for everyone involved.

And So It Begins

Our DR mission team is now finalized, and a good team it is.  We have 2 physicians, 1 nurse, and 13 regular folks.  We held our first official team meeting Monday night.  I talked about mission work versus "Christian tourism", and the importance being physically and spiritually prepared for what we are about to do.

The day before, we held another fund raising luncheon after the a.m. service at FBC.  The food was Mexican this time.  We got a lady in Mexico to make us 57 dozen (!) tamales, and they arrived hot and fresh Sunday morning.  The meal was rounded out with beans, salad, and arroz con leche for dessert.  The food was deliciosa.  (If you think Taco Bell is good Mexican food, you need to pay us a visit).

Many thanks go to Laura Cavazos, a member at FBC.  Even though she is not going on the trip,  she is always glad to help us.

We leave on June 7th.  We would appreciate your prayers.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Hatchet Man

Chuck Colson has died.

If that name doesn't ring a bell, you should know that Colson was a senior official in Richard Nixon's White House.  He was dubbed "Nixon's Hatchet Man", which should give you a hint as to his character back then.  He was later sent to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal.  As it happens, it was the best thing that ever happened to him.  For there, in the depths of humiliation and despair, Chuck Colson met the Lord Jesus Christ.

If there was ever a vivid example of the power of the gospel to change a man, Colson was it.  Released from prison in 1975, he never stopped going back.  He began a ministry called Prison Fellowship, which now operates in over 115 countries around the world.  He was a tireless advocate for prison reform, and he loathed bureaucracy.  His "Angel Tree" ministry touches 1,000s of inmates' kids each Christmas.  Put simply, he had lots of good ideas, and the results to prove it.

But Colson did more than just try to change a bloated and inefficient penal system.  For years he produced a 5 minute radio spot called "Breakpoint".  It was provocative, and unfailingly intelligent.  Colson would mention some cultural trend or other, and then, with the skill of a surgeon, explain the worldview behind it, and the likely results of embracing it.

I had the privilege of hearing him speak live at a couple of conferences.  He was an engaging speaker, but more importantly, a prophetic voice to a church weakened by bad theology and distracted with trivialities.  He knew, perhaps better than most, that ideas have consequences, so it is vital that one have the right ideas.  For no President, or political party, can save a nation that is intent on destroying itself.

Charles Wendell "Chuck" Colson was 80 years old.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Because You Gave

Our friend Abraham just posted a video showing the new restrooms that he built using money received from our kids during VBS last summer.  Check it out here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Late To The Party

I think most people would agree that the New York Times is reliably left of center when it comes to political opinion.  Not even the most deranged among us would ever allege that "The Old Gray Lady" is part of the vast right wing conspiracy.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I read this article today.  Seems like some people are just "discovering" what the Lord has been saying all along.

Monday Musings

Last Friday a group from the Houston area came down for a little reconnaissance.  They'll be bringing a team to the HMC this summer, so they wanted to have a look-see in order to plan better.  I took them to meet Pastor Roberto, whose bus driver salary doesn't permit a lot of frills.  It looks like the team will be helping with some renovations at his house/church.

I'll be doing something similar next Monday with a team from Corpus.

On a completely different subject, yesterday we started a 6-week prayer emphasis at FBC.  We are wanting to adopt an unreached, unengaged people group, and with about 3,800 of them around the world, it can get a little confusing.  (For definitions of the terms used above, go here).  Please pray with us as we try to discern the mind and heart of God in all of this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mythbusting

How many times have you heard someone say, "Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world”?  Turns out, it's not true.  For those who seriously practice their faith, there is a marked difference in the divorce rate, as compared with everyone else.  Check out this article.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Luke 24:5 - 8

Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’  Then they remembered his words."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Having an Impact

I just now received an e-mail from Jenny, who was one of the leaders for the outreach effort in McAllen (see post from March 19).  It's an update on how everything turned out, especially the Team Impact event that was held Sunday.  Here is what she wrote:

I hope this message finds you all doing remarkably well!  I just wanted to take the time to share the great outcomes of the Team Impact Event, held this past Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at the State Farm Arena, Hidalgo Texas.  During the event, there were over 100 working volunteers, the arena staff estimated 2,300 persons in the facility with 2,095 pure attendees through the doors. In addition, we recorded 403 professions of faith in Jesus.  In the month leading up to the event, there were 80 thousand tickets,  108,000 gospel tracts and local church Easter Invitations distributed in partnership with at least 15 local churches and 6 missions teams.  Lastly, in the week prior to the event Team Impact conducted 25 local school assemblies and connected with approximately 13,000 students. 

Aftermath

Yesterday Captain (our children's minister) and I went over to McAllen for a day of disaster relief work.  Last week a small section of town suffered a pretty bad hail storm.  There were lots of broken windows on cars and houses; the trees didn't fare too well either.  The roofs of houses in these neighborhoods were simply pummeled by the storm.  I am still sometimes amazed at nature's power, and how helpless we are when a disaster like this strikes.

We ended up helping a widow lady who suffered lots of water damage.  She was a bit of a hoarder, so you can imagine what our day was like. But even though DR work is always hard, and usually nasty, it's deeply gratifying to help those who, through no fault of their own, are having to cope with sudden tragedy and loss.

Monday, April 2, 2012